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Thursday, August 30, 2012

"Barefoot Running"

In an act of rashness, I caved and bought what was a phenomenon in the last decade: barefoot shoes.  They were super on sale (I wonder why) and I didn't even realize they were "barefoot" shoes until I got them home.  I wanted a pair of shoes that weren't old-looking to go to the gym in.

This purchase caused me to re-read some of what I'd read in the last decade about what I believe is a quickly passing phase.

I'd read a lot the past five years about these shoes because if you've read Runner's World since 2005 you realize there isn't that much to running and we're always looking for something new, different, novel, to make what is actually something boring, exciting.

FUN FACT: running is really boring, it's so mind-numbingly SIMPLE and three-year-olds do it almost exactly the same as 83-year-olds.

Because runners have a complex and want to deny what they do for 1+ hours a day is really boring and simple, "barefoot shoes" graced the running culture.

((FUN FACT: it's actually become a scientific topic that garners research: PUBMED GLORY.))

Can I just say how ironic it is that the shoe industry makes shoes and calls them "barefoot" shoes because they get to use less rubber and foam and cut down costs all while marketing them as the latest fad?  That's good marketing if you ask me.

I'm gonna date myself, but I remember back in the day when I started running when barefoot running meant barefoot.  You really haven't run a road race til that guy with a crazy beard runs by you at 8 mph with NO SHOES on all while you're on the part of the course that's cobblestone.  It's crazy!

I kinda miss those days.

I don't miss this day: the day I ran 6 miles on Cocoa Beach like the men I'd seen with the beards.  I ended up on crutches for 3 days and could barely walk at my graduation.

Result of REAL barefoot running.  Ouch.

I feel kinda guilty now that I've accidentally supported this movement I am not comfortable with: literally, NOT COMFORTABLE.  There's just something miraculous about 2 inches of cushion every time your ___lb. frame SLAMS into asphalt.  I'm not trying to be a hater but rather I am just skeptical about the high-and-mighty who run the "right" way and "naturally" and "return to nature's original plan."  Well, this post could quickly devolve into an anti-organic food, pro-GMO diatribe and other strong beliefs I have about natural resource allocation and use so I'll stop here.  Bottom line is that I like to use technology brilliant people have made.  It's amazing what people can invent when they're free to.  I have "barefoot shoes" now and I run with them.  I have traditional running shoes and I run with them.  I like them both.  The former because they're bright & new, the latter because I can slam into asphalt and not really feel it.

Man made shoes and God made man to make shoes so run how you want to run, shoes, no shoes, "barefoot shoes," but by all means run.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Caroline:-)

    I had the same problem with my left foot (I was a gymnast). Barefoot is the best for gymnastics, but we hat injuries all the time.

    Greetings from Switzerland/Europe